Saturday, January 31, 2009

Random Thoughts For A Saturday

I'm feeling lazy today so I am just firing off random thoughts while perusing the news.

It appears that the MSM has gotten over it's aversion to faith based initiatives.

26-Year Old to Head Obama's Faith Office

January 30, 2009 10:38 AM


ABC News' Teddy Davis Reports:

Josh Dubois, the 26 year-old who ran religious outreach for Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, has been tapped by the new president to head the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a White House aide tells ABC News.

Dubois, who previously worked as an associate pastor for a small Pentecostal church in Massachusetts, was drawn to Obama in 2004 when he heard the future president tell the Democratic National Convention that, "We worship an awesome God in the Blue States."

Finally, what the Hell does that mean? "We worship an awesome God in the Blue States." Do they worship a different God in blue states?

Now from the oh no department,

Time for a new world order: PM

Phillip Coorey Chief Political Correspondent January 31, 2009

KEVIN RUDD has denounced the unfettered capitalism of the past three decades and called for a new era of "social capitalism" in which government intervention and regulation feature heavily.

In an essay to be published next week, the Prime Minister is scathing of the neo-liberals who began refashioning the market system in the 1970s, and ultimately brought about the global financial crisis.

"The time has come, off the back of the current crisis, to proclaim that the great neo-liberal experiment of the past 30 years has failed, that the emperor has no clothes," he writes of those who placed their faith in the corrective powers of the market.

"Neo-liberalism and the free-market fundamentalism it has produced has been revealed as little more than personal greed dressed up as an economic philosophy. And, ironically, it now falls to social democracy to prevent liberal capitalism from cannibalising itself."

Read the article for more info, it's interesting and scary. Don't take it too lightly though, Australia is an important ally and it appears Obama has a soul mate in Kevin Rudd.

From the "here we go again" department,,

Bumps in the Road: Obama's HHS Secretary Nominee Faces Tax Questions Over Car and Driver

January 30, 2009 6:29 PM

ABC News has learned that the nomination of former Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., to be President Obama's secretary of health and human services has hit a traffic snarl on its way through the Senate Finance Committee.

The controversy deals with a car and driver lent to Daschle by a wealthy Democratic friend -- a chauffeur service the former senator used for years without declaring it on his taxes.

I've asked it before, and I will ask it again: Is there anybody in the Democratic party that can be appointed to the Obama administration without explaining away special circumstances and/or ethical lapses.

Finally, evidently electing a black man to chair the Republican National Committee is not a big issue. CNN did not even bother covering it on it's front page this morning. CBS covered it, at the bottom of it's headlines list, below these stories of national importance;

Octuplets' Family Filed For Bankruptcy

Obama's Super Bowl Guest List: A Primer

Serena Wins Aussie Open


So much for reporting extensively on the election of Barack Obama because of the historic significance. Now I am not comparing the election of a President to the election of the RNC chair, I'm just pointing out the obvious fact that when a black person (or Hispanic, or female, or {insert your favorite protected class here}) is appointed to a Republican post or by a Republican administration, it does not seem to have the same historic significance as when it is a Democrat. George Bush broke several racial and gender barriers in his appointments. He got no credit for this. It was viewed as cynical or grandstanding. The appointees were called Uncle Tom's or, even worse, "house negroes". Obama breaks any of these barriers, he will be a visionary, progressive, and Chris Matthews will have to change his pants. Just saying.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Origin Of The Global Warming Movement Explained

John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel and now a weatherman for KUSI-TV in San Diego, posted an article on the KUSI website today.

This article is well worth reading for two reasons.

One, it gives a very good and detailed history of the global warming movement. It is full of insight on how this hoax has been foisted on an unsuspecting public and contains a good explanation on the motives of the founders and those that have perpetuated the movement.

It follows the movement from it's founding through it's growth with the assistance of the media and the UN to the present day in which the science has caught up to it and is starting to cast doubts on it.

Second it attaches well earned labels to the movement and it's Deity Al Gore, calling it a hoax and scam.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why Did He Bother?

On his first full day in office, Obama made a show of signing an executive order that says that lobbyists will not be allowed to work in his administration. Upon signing the order, he released the following statement. Credit for story here.

"If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on or in the agencies that you lobbied during the previous two years," Obama said. "When you leave government, you will not be able to lobby my administration for as long as I am president."

Since then, I don't think he has had a nomination for his administration that hasn't violated this rule. According to the National Journal Magazine:

As of January 21, Obama had nominated two recent lobbyists to high-level administration posts, and 14 of the 112 White House staffers that Obama had named had been registered as lobbyists at some point since 2005.

This is over 12% of his nominees. Of course the media is not reporting this. The only one that has gotten any play at all is the Deputy Secretary of Defense, William Lynn. Following is a partial list of lobbyists that Obama has nominated for his administration.

This month, Obama nominated William V. Corr, executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, to be deputy Health and Human Services secretary. He also tapped William Lynn, vice president of government operations and strategy at Raytheon, to be deputy Defense secretary. Both men were federally registered lobbyists until June 30, 2008.

Expectations are that three other lobbyists or former lobbyists will be nominated for political positions: Richard Verma, a lobbyist for Steptoe & Johnson, is rumored to be in line for the post of assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the State Department; Mark Patterson, who was a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs until April 11, 2008, is being considered for a top job at the Treasury Department; and Mark Gitenstein, who took a leave from Mayer Brown last summer, is said to be Obama's choice to head the Justice Department's Office of Policy -Development.

Let's go back to the original quote above though. "If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on or in the agencies that you lobbied during the previous two years," This in itself is a statement that has, shall we say evolved, over the last year.

In November 2007, Obama boasted at a campaign event that lobbyists "won't find a job in my White House." He later softened that rhetoric to say that lobbyists "won't dominate" the White House.

Under George Bush hiring lobbyists was blasted. There were charges of cronyism, political payback, buying administration jobs, etc. Now it's OK to ignore your own standards if you feel the person is qualified. It's a new day folks.

Bottom line is this whole mess brings two questions to mind.

Is there anybody on the left who could be confirmed without special exemptions? We have had a Treasury Secretary who had to pay his back taxes before he could be confirmed. A Secretary of State who the Senate had to ignore all conflict of interests standards to confirm. If anybody is really paying attention, they would realize that one of the only appointments that Obama has made that did not need a special exemption was a hold-over from the Bush administration, Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Of course Obama made up for this by appointing a lobbyist as his deputy secretary.

Finally, why did he bother? The ink wasn't even dry on the executive order before Obama violated it.

The answer is, because he can. With the media swooning at his every word he can make a grand pronouncement about something and the media will get a chill down it's collective leg. They will be so enraptured by his brilliance and the "change" he is bringing to Washington that they will not notice that he is actually doing just the opposite.

If there is one campaign promise he has kept so far, it's this. He did bring "change" to Washington.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kudos To Homes For Our Troops

There has been a lot of talk about the military getting the short end of the stick lately. I thought it would be nice to provide a good story for a change.

This is the story of a local soldier. I realize that it does not appear to be an uplifting story but I promise the ending is better than the beginning. Credit for below story to Homes For Our Troops website.

Cpl Joshua Hoffman
Middleville, MI

January 6th, 2007 Cpl Joshua Hoffman was on patrol in the streets of Fallujah, Iraq when a man with a rocket propelled grenade appeared in his line of sight. The insurgent ran off, forcing Josh's group of Marines to follow and capture him. It was a standard, by the book procedure that they followed effortlessly. Josh was assigned to lead the group of men on foot. One shot rang-out, the men yelled "take cover!", and everyone dove to the ground. His men got up to make sure everyone was okay - but one man did not. Josh lay face-down in the filthy Iraq soil, unable to move, until his Navy Corpsmen came to his aid. His men frantically did everything they could to keep everyone safe while trying to save his life, and it worked. Every other person that day walked out of there untouched, but emotionally distraught over the happenings of that day.

Josh has spent the last 20 months away from his home, his friends, and his family. Fourteen of those months have been spent inside the four walls of his hospital room, 800 miles away from home. Fourteen months he lay in the same bed, staring at the same ceiling, praying to wake up and be back in Iraq, having all this be a bad nightmare. Fourteen months straight he has awakened to the crude reality of what has happened to him, to his body, to his life, and yet he is more optimistic than 95% of the other men here who have so much more use of their bodies. He tells me he's lucky - lucky to be alive, and lucky it's not worse. A man who had everything, a life many dream of, and now can hardly speak, barely see, and cannot move even a finger to itch his nose. Yet, he still says he is lucky.

Josh has had pneumonia 5 times, a urinary tract infection more than 10 times, fears of meningitis, complete kidney failure resulting in his body ballooning to 3 times his normal body size (his eyes were swollen shut, his bottom lip so big it touched his nose, and blisters that covered his entire body), and currently deals with multiple kidney stones too large to pass. He was dependent on a ventilator to breathe for him for 6 months, and still relies on a tracheotomy and oxygen. He fights everyday to relearn his speech, regain abilities to move, and hope that maybe soon he'll be able to return home. It's been a long road to recovery, but he's fighting on and he will indeed make it. After all, he is a US Marine!

Please help Homes for Our Troops build this young Marine the home he needs to aid in his recovery. He has fought for us now it is our turn to fight for him.

I got an e-mail this week containing an invitation to a Key Turnover Ceremony to a new house for Cpl Hoffman that is adapted to his needs.

I would like to send my respect to Cpl Hoffman for all he has done for our country. My sadness at all he has suffered through. My admiration for him being such a positive person in all of the adversity he has faced.

Finally I would like to salute this fine organization for the work they have done for Cpl Hoffman and all of the other troops they have assisted. I have put them on my resources (links) listing. It seems to pale in comparison to what they do but if it brings them any support at all, it is more than worth the time. Any of you that have a similar listing on your site, I ask that you do the same. Let's spread the word for them.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This Won't Be Pretty

Big Hollywood, a division of Breitbart.com, has offered Matt Damon $100,000 to debate Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard. This is after Damon called Kristol an idiot. Story here.

“He’s an idiot — he wrote that we should be grateful to George Bush because he won the Iraq war. We! Won! The! War!”

Matt Damon is calling Bill Kristol an idiot. I will assume anybody reading this knows who both are.

Bill Kristol if you have seen him speak is uber-intelligent. His grasp of the issues is second to none. His analysis, which I don't always agree with in principle, is superb and well thought out.

Matt Damon on the other hand, how to say this, he's not Bill Kristol. Mind you, he's not quite Paris Hilton or Jessica Simpson, but him calling Kristol an idiot is laughable.

I think the bigger issue here is the leftards in Hollyweird being experts on, well, everything because they can act. I don't want to malign Damon. He may be a fairly intelligent person though I still hold that he is not on par with Kristol intellectually. Bottom line though is being an actor does not give him an innate grasp of the issues. He does not compare to a man who spends his every waking moment thinking about politics.

I hope that they can put this debate together. It will be nice for a change to see one of these pampered little stars get their asses handed to them. It will be another case of throwing the Christians to the lions, or in modern terms, throwing the Lions to a professional football team.

My bet is though that Damon will not be able to make room in his schedule. Because the only other sure thing about these liberal idiots is that they are smartest when they don't have to defend their position. More often than not when one of them is called out on their position and confronted with a reasonable argument (most of us just call it the truth), they forget their lines all of a sudden.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Priorities Established Early

Note: After doing a little more research, I have amended this blog. In the earlier version, I asserted that Obama went to 10 other auxiliary Balls including some for music industry groups. It appears this is not true. It does not change my contention that he sent a clear and convincing message to the troops that they are not relevant to him or worth his time. Taking this on top of the snub in Germany when he chose to skip visiting wounded troops and played basketball instead because he could not turn the visit into a photo op, my original point that Obama does not care about the troops stands.

New President Barack Obama did not wait long to let us know where his priorities lie as far as the armed services and the men and women who serve are concerned.

As I posted in yesterday's blog, Obama's decision to halt the trials of prisoners at Gitmo is not an overly popular one.

Thinking about it this morning though, there is more to this story than appears on the surface.

We have to take this decision in the context of another decision this past week, skipping the Heroes Inaugural Ball.

For 56 years every President has attended the Heroes Inaugural Ball to honor the Medal of Honor recipients. Every year that is, until now.

Think about this.

Jimmy Carter went to it. The same Jimmy Carter who has been so critical of the United States and the armed services.

Bill Clinton went to it. We likely have never had a President who has been more disdainful and harmful to the men and women in uniform than Bill Clinton and he went to the ball.

So, let's recap. In his first week in office, Obama ignored the Medal of Honor recipients to go to 10 other Balls then the next day he signed an order halting the trials of terrorists who killed 17 sailors. As horrendous as all of this is, I would think the men and women in uniform would find some comfort in knowing early where they stand with their new Commander-in-Chief. Saves them all of the time they would have wasted wondering.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Quote Of The Week

One of the first, and most controversial, decisions new President Obama made this week was to halt war crimes trials at Gitmo.

I cannot say it any better than former Cmdr. Kirk Lippold, who was in command of the USS Cole when it was attacked in 2000.

"It demeans their deaths because we seem to be more concerned with the rights of detainees than we are with the justice that is being denied to my sailors that were killed,"

Rest of the story here.

In honor of his continuing fight for justice for the crew he lost and for his service to our country, I salute Commander Kirk S. Lippold, USN (Ret.)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cool New Photography Site




I came across a new photography blog, A Dance Of Words & Photos.

Okay, the truth is I didn't actually run across it as much as I was told to go there and write a blog about it. It's my wife's site.

It's still worth going and checking it out. The pics will be almost entirely of nature and weather. My wife, like me, is an outdoors person. She also loves to garden and is quite good at it so the blog will be especially worth a visit in the spring and summer once her flowers start blooming.

Right now she has some cool (pun intended) pictures of Michigan in the winter.

Enjoy the pictures,

Chuck


Global Warming Not A Burning Issue For Public?

The Pew Research Center did a poll on the most important issues to the public. Turns out that, with the exception of Al Gore, global warming is not a major issue with the public.

In fact it ranked 20th, better known as dead last. Economy, jobs, and energy all rank much higher, all in the top six.

Polls can be notoriously inaccurate and an oversimplification of what the public really wants. With this said, you have to wonder how well the public will receive the inevitable push by Obama and Congress to pass legislation that will cause damage to the economy, cost jobs, and make energy either harder to obtain or considerably more costly. Only time will tell.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Just a quick thought looking back on the week's events. I think the thing that strikes me the most and leaves me chuckling is this new found desire for bipartisanship on the left.

After 8 years of the most horrific attacks on George Bush, and not just from the bloggers at Huffington or Kos, but the very people in power now. From Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, on down.

The vitriol from the left. Calling Bush a murderer and terrorist, a retard, a liar, and things I will not print here.

Now all of a sudden the left has a new religion. All we are hearing this week is echoes of Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along". The new pleas from the left for harmony are just as ridiculous as when the pleas of peace came from a man who's troubles all began when he decided to assault some police officers.

Well, they can all get along if they want to. I am here to declare today, this is a "no getting along zone". There will be no getting along with libs here. There will be no forgetting the last 8 years. There will be no forgiveness. I want to make clear, I intend to raise some Hell. Want to join me?

A Call For President Obama To Ban Automobiles

I was reading a post at All American Blogger and started thinking about the notion of banning guns to save lives.

I started thinking, just how dangerous are guns for humans? So, I did a little research.

First I have these excerpts from David Kopel at the Independence Institute, a think tank.

Did you know that:

"One child under 14 is accidentally shot to death every day in the USA." (Center to Prevent Handgun Violence).

"Teen-agers in homes with guns are 75 times more likely to kill themselves than teenagers living in homes without guns." (Washington Post columnist Richard Reeves.)

"In the past decade, more than 138,000 Americans were shot just by children under the age of 6." (Hartford Courant.)

135,000 children carry guns to school each day. (Senators Biden and Chafee.)

"Firearms are responsible for the deaths of 45,000 infants, children and adolescents per year." (American Academy of Pediatrics.)
"One million U.S. inhabitants die prematurely each year as the result of intentional homicide or suicide." (former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop).

"Guns are the leading cause of death among older teenagers - white and black - in America." (Newsweek.)

These statistics are horrifying, and few people who read them can avoid concluding that some kind of gun control - any kind of gun control -- is an urgent necessity. Fortunately, every one of the above statistics is false. (The correct statistics are presented in the relevant sections of this Issue Paper.) Advocates of severe gun controls and gun prohibition -- and their allies in the media - are frightening America.

Or this (emphasis mine)

Compared to the risk of dying in a gun accident, a child aged 0-14 is four times more likely to drown, four times more likely to die in a fire, and 13 times more likely to die in an auto accident.

Now, some people will look at this and say "but this isn't proof, it's just from a think tank, a group with an agenda". Fair enough, not proof that it's wrong, but okay. Maybe a research article from an obscure publication called the Journal of the American Medical Association will lend a little more weight to my argument.

This is a table on the causes of death for adults. By this chart, motor vehicles cause 50% more deaths than firearms. (note: sorry, this chart didn't transfer well, click on link for a very easily read chart.)




So, I therefore call on President Barack Obama to ban motor vehicles. Just think of the advantages. It will save lives, more than banning firearms. It will decrease our dependence on foreign oil, let the peace loving Muslims try to make a living selling play sand. Finally, something near and dear to my heart, it will make Al Gore happy. We will reduce green house gas emissions. He can then fly all over the world in his private jet giving lectures on how we cut down on fossil fuel usage. Or will we ban airplanes too? Didn't think about that.


Think all of this is ridiculous? So is banning firearms to save lives when they are one of the least prevalent, by percentage, causes of death.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

About The New Banner

I would like to thank Rick at Organized Doodles for my new banner.

I entered a contest at his blog for a free doodle and won. As you can tell from my image, it fortunately was not a beauty contest. While Rick at Organized Doodles is very good at what he does, nobody is that good. So you are stuck with my mug. Let's just say I have a face that belongs in blogging.

Seriously though, Rick has some great stuff that he did over at Organized Doodles so wander over and check it out.

So I just want to give a big thank you to Rick over at Organized Doodles for this banner.

If anyone is wondering where to go to see more of this, let me know and I will send you to Organized Doodles. (hey, I'm not above shameless plugging) lol.

Really, really, serious though, stop by and see his site, he's got some fun stuff there.

Chuck

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Glorious Celebration

It was a day of celebration. Crowds swelled. People were dancing in the streets. Children sang. Old ladies wept.


Leaders gave stirring speeches amid the wreckage of a once proud city. Jimmy Carter was misty-eyed, thinking this day would never come.


The war-weary citizens listened in jubilation at the promise of a new day.


Representatives of the United Nations were even involved. At once happy at the new day but promising to attempt to determine what went on before this day and who was responsible for the decline of these people.


Yes it was quite a celebration Hamas held today in honor of their glorious victory over Israel.





Continue reading and photo credit here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Some Simple Math

Word is that California is going to delay paying tax refunds because of budgetary shortfalls. According to this article, the sate will have a shortfall of $41.6 billion over the next year and a half. This works out to approximately $27 billion for a year.

Now contrast that with this article.

California's nearly 3 million illegal immigrants cost taxpayers nearly $9 billion each year, according to a new report released last week by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a Washington, D.C.-based group that promotes stricter immigration policies.

Educating the children of illegal immigrants is the largest cost, estimated at $7.7 billion each year, according to the report. Medical care for illegal immigrants and incarceration of those who have committed crimes are the next two largest expenses measured in the study, the author said.

Pro-immigrant groups and Latino researchers dispute the federation's findings, calling them biased and incomplete.

Jack Martin, who wrote the report, said Thursday that the $9 billion figure does not include other expenses that are difficult to measure, such as special English instruction, school lunch programs, and welfare benefits for American workers displaced by illegal immigrant workers.

"It's a bottom of the range number," Martin said.

The federation is one of the nation's leading lobbying groups aimed at curbing immigration into the country.

Authors of the report say it culls information from the U.S. Census and other studies addressing the cost of illegal immigration into the country to draw its conclusions.

So, the simple math is California has a shortfall of $27 billion a year and illegal immigration costs the state $9 billion or more a year. Now, this is only a third of their shortfall, but, a third here, a third there, pretty soon you have a whole.

When are we going to wake up as a country and realize the damage we are doing to ourselves by ignoring illegal immigration.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Quote Of The Week

I realize my quote from last week was from George Bush but since this is his last week in office, I will do give him the space again.

"Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks," Bush said. "And there are things I would do differently if given the chance. Yet I have always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right."

I cannot think of a better summation of his Presidency. In thanks for all he has done for him, I salute George Bush with the proud Eagle



Saturday, January 17, 2009

Who Will The Left Hate Now?

My post for the quote of the week tomorrow is from George Bush. After writing the post, I went to Google images to try to find a nice picture of him to use. It was stunning.

I tried different combinations, "Bush 9/11", etc, finally deciding that "Bush patriotic 9/11" might be promising. This search, according to Google, came up with 113,000 results. Evidently they didn't have very many pro-Bush ones.

Somewhere in flipping through, I found one good image of Bush on 9/11 but it didn't fit. I got to page 33, approximately 700 images, before I came to another respectable image.

I realize this is partly the fault of Google, many of us have talked about how they seem to have a liberal slant to their searches.

The reality is though that there the search results reflected how deep the hatred is for Bush on the left.

Going through these images, I was tempted to go and take a shower when I was done.

I have said before, half joking, that I believe liberalism is a mental disorder. After scanning these images it is clear that this theory is not too far from the truth. The hatred displayed on some of these images comes from some very deeply disturbed individuals.

There is partisanship and I confess that I was less than fair to Clinton and I will be less than fair to Obama. We are political animals and all is fair in love and politics, right. I am not opposed to bare knuckled partisanship. Some of these people though seriously need help.

The thing to watch going forward is this, people are going to say these types of things about Obama, let's see what the reaction is then. Let's wait 2 or 3 years and Google "Obama patriotism" and see what we get.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Take The Fight To The GOP Leaders

I have been following the blog of House Republican Leader John Boehner for a little while now. On his blog today was a post about the Broadcaster Freedom Act Of 2009.

Leading Democrats are pushing to restore the “Fairness Doctrine” - an antiquated idea which would effectively silence critics of the government. This blatant attempt to quash those who disagree with the Democrats should offend all who cherish their First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech. The right to speak one’s mind is diminished - and effectively silenced - if it cannot find a voice on the radio, television, or the internet.

I want to do two things here today.

First, I want to include my response to this post.

This sounds great and I am glad you are doing it but you still have to fight for it. Reality is the Democrats will not allow it to become law. You need to make them pay a price for this though.

Ultimately what happens in Congress is your fault as a leader of the opposition. The GOP leadership in Congress has got to stop being so passive. Push this legislation. When it is not accepted by the majority party, get out of your office, and sorry for the disrespect, but get off of your asses and get in front of a camera. Make them explain why they are against freedom of speech.

The bloodbath the GOP has endured over the last two elections is largely self-inflicted. The GOP leadership in Congress and the national party as a whole has let the Democrats control the conversation in this country. If you let them enact the fairness doctrine, it is going to get even worse.

Second, I want to ask everyone to do the same. Follow his blog and look for other blogs of the GOP congressional and party leadership. I intend to. But don't just follow them, comment, criticize, keep their asses in the fire. Do even more than that though, ask others to do the same.

We are not using our numbers as bloggers wisely. We are a disparate, disorganized group. What we have yet to realize is the potential for the power of numbers. There are a lot of conservative bloggers out there.

While I am not a fan of chain letters, it is a good analogy for this. We reach dozens to hundreds of people. Those people reach dozens to hundreds of people, some the same people, many of the people we reach are different from blog to blog though. Think about the exponential nature of this.

We have a real potential to make ourselves heard.

Or, we can just sit around and bitch about how things are going.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Embarrassing Mistakes

How bad is our society gotten when failing to pay your taxes is now "embarrassing"?

WASHINGTON (AP) - President-elect Barack Obama called disclosures about Treasury choice Timothy Geithner's tax problems an embarrassment Wednesday but said Geithner's "innocent mistake" shouldn't keep him from confirmation as the new administration's top official in urgent efforts to revive the economy.

The revelations that Geithner had failed to pay $34,000 in taxes several years ago derailed Senate Democrats' plans to speed him to confirmation by Inauguration Day, but senators in both parties said the information was unlikely to torpedo his chances in the end.

Obama had hoped for approval by Tuesday, but senators now have scheduled Geithner's confirmation hearing for next Wednesday, with Senate debate and a vote sometime after that.

Rest of story here.

This man "forgot" to pay taxes for several years. Worse than that, he is an expert at finance. This is not a mistake and someone who does this should not be running the IRS. Just imagine the public relations issues later when going after taxpayers for not paying their taxes.

Back to the original point though. How bad has our corrupt government become when a nominee has broken the law and the question is not whether he will be confirmed, but how much this revelation will slow his appointment down?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Democrats Want To Investigate Bush?

While this is not a new story, it has a little twist that most of you may not know about.

The article is about Congressional Democrats wanting to investigate the Bush administration for essentially the dastardly crime of keeping us safe for 7+ years. Listening in on the phone conversations of poor murderous terrorists. Keeping murderous terrorists locked up sometimes in, gasp, secret foreign prisons. Sprinkling a little, OK a lot, of water on the face of some murderous terrorists. Who does the son of a bitch think he is anyways?

My suspicion is that this will go nowhere. Maybe at most some showy congressional investigations. Though Joe Biden has pushed for convictions of Bush, Obama has been cool to the idea himself. Maybe now that Obama is on the way to the White House he sees the trap that lies in this type of action, he too will someday be an ex-President.

Additionally, he has to be smart enough to know that while Bush may not be real popular now, the public may not be very tolerant of something that is really nothing more than political payback for the Clinton impeachment while the economy is in the toilet.

Back to the point of this blog though and the little twist that many outside of Michigan do not know about. The principle driving force behind this and impeachment attempts against Bush for the last several years is Rep John Conyers (D, MI).

Most people probably know who Conyers is though after roughly 90 years in Congress he has very little in the way of accomplishment to show for his time.

Most people though do not know who Monica Conyers is. She is the wife of John and is the Detroit City Council President Pro Tem. Ms. Conyers has been a busy little city council member.

An aide to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick filed a police report Thursday claiming Monica Conyers, the short-tempered City Council president pro tem and wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, threatened to get a gun and shoot him at a city pension board meeting..."

and...

Conyers' behavior another blow to Detroit

Councilwoman's bizarre actions won't help city move past crisis

DENVER -- Don't be too quick to breathe a sigh of relief when Gov. Jennifer Granholm finally removes Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Why? Two words: Monica Conyers.

I'm not saying Conyers is crazy. But her behavior is so consistently erratic that she's guaranteed to keep the embarrassing spotlight focused tightly on Detroit long after Kilpatrick is gone.

City Council's second ranking member arrived at the Democratic National Convention this week with her famed entitlement attitude packed neatly in her luggage -- she never leaves home without it.

When the accommodations at the Magnolia Hotel in downtown Denver didn't meet her majesty's expectations, she pitched a hellacious fit in the lobby that reportedly escalated into a sit-in. It was too much for the lone cop on duty. He had to call in reinforcements to subdue the next Detroit City Council president, who wasn't shy about reminding the hotel staff who she was, where she's from and who she's married to (U.S. Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee).

and...

Councilwoman Accused Of Role In Bar Brawl

Woman Wants Monica Conyers Charged With Assault

POSTED: Friday, December 23, 2005

DETROIT -- Recently elected Detroit city councilwoman Monica Conyers is accused of assaulting another woman at a bar.


The brawl occurred at Crossroads Lounge Monday night, according to Local 4.

and finally, the one that may land her in prison...

News: FBI Has Evidence Against Conyers

Last Update: 7/06/2008 9:00 am

(WXYZ) Our reporting partners at the Detroit News are reporting that the FBI has electronic surveillance that links Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers to the Synagro scandal.

The evidence reportedly proves that Conyers received either a payment or payments in connection with the city-approved sludge contract.

Conyers was a vocal opponent of the $47 million a year Synagro contract, but changed her position and eventually voted for the deal when it passed by 5-4 vote in November.

The FBI is also looking into the involvement of, and possible payments to several other people in connection with the Synagro deal. Another, unnamed member of Council is also reportedly the focus of the investigation.

I have a suggestion for Mr. Conyers. Instead of worrying about Bush's anti-terrorism program that actually kept us safe, maybe Congress should investigate how the wife of a congressman has spent years terrorizing a city and possibly breaking the law and has yet to face any consequences for her actions.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quote Of The Week - Part II

I really wanted to use this yesterday but the quote I used from George Bush seemed more appropriate. With this said, this one could not go unnoticed.


This is Britain's Prince Harry clowning around with his fellow troops. This quote, along with some other quips about his grandmother the Queen, caused quite an embarrassment to the British Royal Family and government. I had to snicker though. It is nice to see someone in Britain still has a sense of humor over the Muzzies.


“F*** me, you look like a raghead”


For this I raise a pint to the good time Prince.


Photo credit

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Quote Of The Week


The quote of the week is one of my favorites so far. It is from President George Bush and reaffirms all I have believed that he stood for.

I will let the quote speak for itself. Source.

"During the darkest days of Iraq, people came to me and said, 'You're creating incredible political difficulties for us,'" the current president said as his term draws to a close. "And I said, 'Oh, really? What do you suggest I do?' And some suggested retreat, pull out of Iraq.

"But I had faith that freedom exists in people's souls and therefore, if given a chance, democracy and Iraqi-style democracy could survive and work," the president said. "I didn't compromise that principle for the sake of trying to, you know, bail out my political party."

For this willingness to stand by his beliefs and to place his ideals above political gain, I give President George Walker Bush the proud American Eagle.





Photo credit

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Who's On First?

When I was a kid we didn't have cable. Where I grew up by Flint, Michigan we received 4 channels at that time. Needless to say then, we did not have 24 hour cartoon coverage. How did we survive?

What this meant was that children's programing was actually an event for us. Saturday mornings were cartoons, my life didn't start on Saturday until I saw the Looney Tunes and Scooby Doo. Sundays were movies in the mornings. They alternated between Abbott and Costello, Shirley Temple (which was a travesty for a young boy), Laurel and Hardy, etc.

I am off for part of the weekend to the in-laws so I leave you with the classic Abbott and Costello "Who's On First". Enjoy and have a good day.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Palin Fights Back



Sarah Palin sat for an interview with John Ziegler for a documentary he is working on. Article here.

It was a wide ranging interview and she was well spoken. I had hoped since the election she would take an opportunity like this to fight back against the garbage she had to put up with during the campaign. For one thing, this was going to be her only chance to take the offensive and regain control of her image if she wanted to run again.

My suspicion is that this may put the media on the offensive.

As I said it was wide ranging, she covered topics such as

  • The left going after her son Trig and the false accusations surrounding his birth
  • The media using bloggers as a source of information and using this as reportable fact
  • Was the coverage of her political or sexist?
  • Disappointment that Obama was able to place his wife off-limits but her family was not afforded the same courtesy.
  • Interest in seeing how differently Caroline Kennedy will be treated by the media.
  • How the media has loved her when she was bucking the GOP but attacked her when she was not.

It was a good interview and she touched on a lot of the topics that we have talked about on our blogs.

Take the 9 minutes to watch it, it's well worth the time.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Tale Of Two School Districts

Reading an article about the Detroit school district today was enlightening although, me being from Michigan, not shocking.

According to this article, one Detroit school is asking for parents, volunteers, teachers, etc. to bring in toilet paper and light bulbs to keep the schools open.

DETROIT -- A Detroit elementary school is asking for donations of toilet paper and light bulbs to continue functioning.

The principal of the Academy of Americas sent a letter to staff, parents and partners asking for donations of items "that are of the utmost importance for proper school functioning and most importantly for student health and safety."

In the letter, Principal Naomi Khalil cited budget constraints within the district as the reason that the school could no longer stock the items.

The district is grappling with a more than $400 million budget deficit and is on the verge of being assigned an emergency financial manager by the state.

The letter asks for toilet paper, paper towel rolls, trash bags and 60-, 100- or 150-watt light bulbs.

"We realize that the economic situation is stressful for our entire community, but we are asking for your collaboration," wrote Khalil. "We thank you for your cooperation and we hope that as a school community we can pull together to guarantee the best possible educational environment for our children."

Now, our children have attended two different districts and we have always done some things to help out. Teachers have asked for extra Kleenex during the runny nose season, snack items, or special craft supplies, and we help out. Aren't there some basic things that we should expect from schools though? Toilet paper, light bulbs?

The reality is though that Detroit is a cesspool. The national media dumps on them and the city leaders complain and call the negative press unfair but unless you live in Michigan, you do not realize what kind of a mess this city really is in. We drove through the city last summer. Word of caution, this is not recommended. Other than the downtown area around the ballparks, the city is like what you would imagine a third world country looks like. Graffiti, boarded up buildings, burnt out buildings, broken down cars. I have never been to Mexico but this is how I imagine a lot of their cities. Do not think I am exaggerating.

I also used to get the Detroit News because they have the best sports section around. Reading the paper was stunning. Kilpatrick was still mayor. I don't think he had a family member who was not profiting in some big way from the city. Half of the city's street lights don't work and garbage collection is simply not done throughout half of the city. Further, in a city with a high unemployment rate, citizens cannot get out and look for jobs because a large portion of their bus routes simply do not run, giving them no way to get around.

The school district has the distinct honor of graduating the fewest percentage in the country, 24%. Put another way, more than 3 out of 4 children who enter high school in 9th grade do not graduate. This is more than unsettling, it's criminal.

Anyone want to take a guess at what party has ruled this city for decades?

To the southwest of Detroit we have the school district of Chicago. According to this article, this school district had enough money to spend $67,000 on 30 cappuccino machines. Turns out that Detroit is not the only school district that needs fixing.

Chicago public school bureaucrats skirted competitive bidding rules to buy 30 cappuccino/espresso machines for $67,000, with most of the machines going unused because the schools they were ordered for had not asked for them, according to a report by the CPS Office of Inspector General.

In the case of the cappuccino machines, central office administrators split the order among 21 vocational schools to avoid competitive bidding required for purchases over $10,000. As a result CPS paid about $12,000 too much, according to Inspector General James Sullivan. "We were able to find the same machines cheaper online," he said.

"We also look at it as a waste of money because the schools didn't even know they were getting the equipment, schools didn't know how to use the machines and weren't prepared to implement them into the curriculum," Sullivan said.

That was just one example of questionable CPS actions detailed in the inspector general's 2008 annual report. Others included high school staffers changing grades to pump up transcripts of student athletes and workers at a restricted-enrollment grade school falsifying addresses to get relatives admitted.

Although I do give Chicago one big pat on the back. According to the article, these issues are being addressed. Policies are being changed and employees are being suspended or fired. In Detroit reports like this are looked at as business as usual. Finally, does anyone want to guess at what the stock answer is if anyone were to question the practices in Detroit? Racism.

The people of Detroit can take heart on one thing, help is on the way. Barack Obama has nominated Arne Duncan from the Chicago school district as Secretary of Education. Under him 51% of Chicago kids graduated. Things are looking up now.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Only A Billion Years Left Folks

Photo credit:

Fox ran an interesting story yesterday on five ways the world could end.

Now this isn't intended to bring anyone down, I just find it fascinating. Also, I find it helpful to put things in perspective occasionally. We are all worrying about the socialization of America, the Middle East, who will win American Idol this year, you know life changing things. If you start worrying about these too much, just stop and take a breathe and realize things could be worse, the world could end.

Actually if you want an even better analysis of this or have a budding mad scientist at home with the goal of destroying the Earth, read Top 10 Ways To Destroy Earth

First, what's not on the list. No matter what the Goracle says, global warming will not destroy the earth.

Global warming is bad for people who live in low-lying coastal areas and at the edges of deserts, but the truth is that Earth been much warmer throughout most of the past 500 million years, and life did just fine.

So now that everyone's nerves are calmed by that piece of good news, let's see what can do us in.

Asteroid - according to the article it would take a asteroid the size of a small planet to destroy life on Earth

Volcano - it would have to be a big one. Not Mount Pinatubo, not Krakatoa, not even the giant super-massive volcano that is boiling right now under Yellowstone National Park.

For that, it would take something along the lines of the long-ago prolonged eruptions that created India's Deccan Traps and the Siberian Traps in Russia.

In both instances, giant fissures in the ground simply opened up, oozing lava that spread in every direction for hundreds of miles, releasing huge amounts of deadly gas, smoke and soot into the atmosphere. These events went on for tens of thousands of years.

Nuclear War - not a couple of missiles lobbed but your father's nuclear war in which the US and Russia unloaded on each other. This would cause a Nuclear Winter that would destroy plant life and therefore cause animals to starve.

Black Hole - Some theorists believe there may be black holes all around us (maybe even inside of us) . These aren't the problem. The problem is the super massive black holes that suck in anything that comes near.

Finally, if we make it until then, the sun will expand as it dies and envelop the Earth in a billion or so years.

So, hug your kids, call your mother, live today like you only have 365,000,000,000 left.


Note: If you really need to get away, rent The Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy (see graphic above). This movie, while not for the mature, is incredibly good fun if you like Brittish humor.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

See Any Double Standards Here?

Fox News has two articles on it's site this morning highlighting two very different approaches on how to sit a Senator.

First we have this article

Calling himself "the magic man," Roland Burris on Monday said he is going to Capitol Hill to be seated as the next senator from Illinois.

Burris remains defiant as he prepares to claim the post that Senate Democrats have vowed to deny him. He said Monday, as he arrived at an airport just outside Washington, that he is "ready, willing and able" to serve as senator.

The Senate was scheduled to convene at noon Tuesday with its newest members. Yet the controversy over the appointment of Burris by a governor accused of trying to sell the old seat of President-elect Barack Obama and the ongoing dispute over election results in Minnesota practically guaranteed that both seats would remain empty by day's end.

The former Illinois attorney general said the appointment by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is entirely legal and that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has threatened to bar Burris from the Senate, does not know the law.

"This is all politics and theater, but I am the junior senator according to every law book in the nation," Burris said before boarding his flight to the nation's capital. "This appointment is legal. What don't you all understand that what has been done here is legal? That's legal."


So. while Blagojevich is an incredible sleaze bag and he should not have appointed Burris, it appears to be legal. Therefore, while it may be distasteful (actually funny if your me), the Senate doesn't really have a legal beef here.

As a polar opposite, we have this article

A Minnesota board has certified election results showing Democrat Al Franken has won the U.S. Senate recount -- by 225 votes.

But that doesn't mean the former Saturday Night Live comedian's race against his Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman, is over. While FOX News has learned that Senate Democratic leaders will try to seat Franken on Tuesday, a legal challenge probably will keep the race in limbo.

The Canvassing Board's declaration started a seven-day clock for Coleman to file a lawsuit protesting the result. His attorney Tony Trimble said the challenge will be filed within 24 hours. The challenge will keep Franken from getting the election certificate he needs to take the seat in Washington.

"This process isn't at an end," Trimble said. "It is now just at the beginning."
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell also said he doesn't expect an election certificate to be issued until the litigation is over.

Coleman's lawyers have argued that some ballots were mishandled and others were wrongly excluded from the recount. Lead attorney Fritz Knaak said a lawsuit was inevitable after the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled against Coleman earlier on Monday. A lawsuit would extend the fight over the seat for months.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there's no way Coleman can catch up to Franken.
"There comes a time when you have to acknowledge that the race is over," Reid said. "The race in Minnesota is over."

"After 62 days of careful and painstaking hand-inspection of nearly 3 million ballots, after hours and hours of hard work by election officials and volunteers around the state, I am proud to stand before you as the next senator from Minnesota," Franken said Monday in brief remarks to reporters outside his downtown condominium.

Franken aides say the Democrat has no plans to travel to Washington yet.

FOX News has learned from senior Senate Democratic aides that Democratic leaders will try to seat the former comedian provisionally on Tuesday, much as was done in 1997 in the case of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.


(note: the Landrieu election is an ironic one to use as case law because she was seated in spite of likely voter fraud)

So, just to recap, Democrats in the Senate are attempting to block a Senator who was legally appointed to the position while trying to seat a Senator who has not technically been cleared yet and has "questions" about the counting process in his election?

Yeah, the next two years are going to be great.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Aaachoo


Photo credit


Sorry I haven't been with it the last few days, my last two blogs were written a couple of days early.

I have been here at home coughing my somewhat limited brains out. I have only worked briefly over the last week which, if you worked with me, would realize that this is far from normal. I typically drag myself into work half-dead. This time I feel like I may be further than half.

It started last week with a cough, fever, and chills. I went to the ER New Years Day. Technically I was already there, I was working (this four hours was my only attempt at work in the last week). The physician worked me up and called it viral bronchitis. I came home, rested, coughed my brains out, got whiny with my wife, you know, the usual. The bottom line is, I had a miserable weekend.

Except it wasn't over. Yesterday and this morning I was actually feeling worse. So I went to the doctor again. She said that it appears to be bacterial bronchitis now which only will go away with an antibiotic. I started an antibiotic and got stronger nighttime cough medicine, I haven't slept more that two hours at a time in a week, so I'm hoping in a couple of days I will be feeling better.

So as I sit here, clinging to life, I will make rounds as I feel ambitious enough to. Just do me two favors. If I don't make a lot of sense, forgive me. If I start saying anything like, "Obama makes sense", "Obama's new stimulus package is just what we need", "Hillary will be a great SOS", or "Madonna looks great for 73", call a paramedic.

Until then, your friend and fellow blogger,
Chuck

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Quote Of The Week

This week's quote is not profound. It's not the most relevant thing said this week. It was spoken by a person that anyone reading this is unlikely to have ever heard, I didn't know who he was. It is interesting though and a sure sign of things to come with the new openness of Obama and the Democratic Congress.



Charles Whittington, chairman of the American Trucking Associations, which supports a fuel tax increase as long as the money goes to highway projects, said Congress may decide to disguise a fuel tax hike as a surcharge to combat climate change.



This article is about a push to increase the fuel tax by 50%. Note the self-serving nature of the recommendation.



Mr. Whittington has a good plan to get the increase past the American consumer though.



"Instead of calling it a gas tax, call it a carbon tax," Whittington said. "As long as we label it as something else we may have the momentum and acceptance to move forward."



For his ridiculous and sleazy idea, I salute Mr Whittington and award him the Dodo bird





Photo credit

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Follow Up On 12/31 Post - Rep Bobby Rush Changed His Mind

I wrote this blog This Won't Be The Last Time We See This on December 31st about the insanity in Chicago with Rod Blagojevich naming former state Attorney General Roland Burris to replace Barack Obama in the Senate even though Blagojevich is under indictment for trying to sell the seat.

The post was about how Rep Bobby Rush came out forcefully defending Blagojevich's pick and making criticism of it racially motivated, going as far as calling the criticism a "lynching".

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush forcefully backed Blagojevich's decision on the basis of race, warning the public not to "lynch" Blagojevich's Senate pick, who is black.

Rush, an Illinois Democrat who also is black, for weeks had urged Blagojevich to name a black successor for Obama, who had been the only black official in the Senate before resigning his post to assume the presidency.

"This is a matter of national importance," Rush said. "There are no African-Americans in the Senate, and I don't think that anyone, any U.S. senator who's sitting in the Senate right now wants to go on record to deny one African-American for being seated in the U.S. Senate. ... And so I intend to take that argument to the Congressional Black Caucus."

The problem is that it seems this was a reversal of opinion for Rush from a few weeks earlier.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times from December 9th, Rush had a different take on Blagojevich appointing someone to fill Obama's seat. Emphasis mine.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, on Capitol Hill, Congressman Bobby L. Rush provided the following statement in response to press queries about the shocking arrest, this morning, of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on charges that he tried to benefit, financially, from his constitutional duty to appoint a replacement for the U.S. Senate seat recently vacated by President-Elect Barack Obama.

"Like the people of the great state of Illinois, I was shocked and angered by the disturbing news, this morning, that Governor Blagojevich had been arrested for what federal prosecutors describe as "a political corruption crime spree."

"I believe that the acts that are alleged to have been committed by the Governor are so heinous that he has forfeited his right to appoint someone to fill the seat of President-Elect Barack Obama. My bottom line is that the Governor should not be the one to make the appointment to this important office.

So, which is it? Did Bobby Rush have time to reconsider his position and after weeks of mulling over the issue and countless hours of soul searching he concluded that Blagojevich was innocent until proven guilty and should be able to perform his duties as allowed by law? Or, is he a racist, partisan hack who has as much regard for ethics as he does for the people of Illinois, neither mattering as long as his self serving political needs are met? You decide.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Power Of The Media

There is no other way to explain this than the power of the media. All emphasis mine.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A national poll suggests that three-quarters of the public thinks President-elect Barack Obama is a strong and decisive leader, the highest marks for a president-elect on that characteristic in nearly three decades.

Seventy-six percent of Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday said Obama is a strong and decisive leader.

"That's the best number an incoming president has gotten on that dimension since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "The public's rating of his leadership skills is already as high as George W. Bush's was after 9/11 and easily beats the numbers that both Bush and Bill Clinton got at the start of their first terms in office."

Just six in 10 felt that Bush was a strong leader when he took office in 2001. After the attacks of September 11, that number rose to three in four. Sixty-seven percent thought Bill Clinton was a strong leader when he took office in January 1993. Watch how Obama compares with his predecessors »

Eight in ten Americans said Obama inspires confidence, can get things done and is tough enough to be president, three characteristics Americans look for in a leader and the three qualities on which Obama got his highest scores.

He also gets higher marks than Bush did in 2001 on honesty, values, issues, management abilities and compassion.


Can anyone explain this to me? Now, for full disclosure, I do not like Obama. I don't want to shock anyone here, but I really do not. With that said, what could people possibly be basing these opinions on? "Strong and decisive leader", "management abilities"? Are people basing this on the 3 years he spent in the Senate, the last 1 and a half campaigning? Or maybe the fact that he sponsored no major bills during this lengthy tenure? Or maybe it is the lack of any significant committee work?

Also there are the high marks for values and issues. A more appropriate survey would have been to ask these 76% of the people to list his values or his position on the major issues. Actually it would be more accurate to ask them to list his different positions on the issues. My bet is that most of the people cannot list any of these, but will stick with their assessment of him anyways.

The reality is that this poll can only be explained by the media's influence on the public. I have said this before, Barack Obama is an empty suit with no real values or issues. He is a manufactured president.

So, while we don't really know anything about Obama, that's OK, he makes us feel all warm inside.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Day At The Beach In Michigan

I decided to do something a little different today after visiting fellow blogger Z's site. She has a knack for providing great pictures with her posts and today was no exception. She had a picture of a beach in California. Seeing this, I thought it would be fun to show how we do the beach in Michigan.







Long john bathing suit is a definite must.

Actually, the picture doesn't do this scene justice. This is a picture of Lake Huron from the south shore of the Upper Penninsula. It is really a nice beach with a wide stretch of sand. We have swam there in much warmer weather. It was taken in January and rays of sunshine were shining through a cloud cover and reflecting off of the snow on the beach and the partially frozen lake. It was quite beautiful.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from the Chuck Thinks Right family to all of my blogger friends